Separation and Enrichment of Xenon in Air

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83836
Agency Tracking Number: 70344S02-II
Amount: $0.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Membrane Technology And Research, Inc. (mtr)
1360 Willow Road, Suite 103, Menlo Park, CA, 94025
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hans Wijmans
 (650) 328-2228
 wijmans@mtrinc.com
Business Contact
 Elizabeth Weiss
Phone: (650) 328-2228
Email: egweiss@mtrinc.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
70344S02-II The presence of short-lived, radioactive xenon-135 in air is a sign of nuclear activity. Detection is difficult because the amount of xenon in air is very small; hence, concentrating the xenon would facilitate analysis. To be practical, xenon concentration devices should be compact and energy-efficient. This project will develop a xenon concentrator based on novel membranes that permeate nitrogen, oxygen, and other components of air in preference to xenon. The proposed device will increase the concentration of xenon in air by a factor of ten to fifty. Prototype membrane module data, obtained in Phase I, showed that the membrane xenon concentrator could meet DOE performance requirements while satisfying the power and size limitations. In Phase II, the membrane modules will be improved through the use of innovative feed channels. Two prototype xenon concentrators will be delivered to DOE midway through Phase II. The design will be modified based on feedback from DOE; and then two upgraded systems will be built and delivered. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: A membrane-based concentrator that facilitates the analysis of atmospheric xenon would have a limited market. However, the market for related devices ¿ for example, instruments that concentrate toxic organic compounds and other pollutants present in air ¿ would be significantly larger.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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